Monday, October 02, 2006

Nice turtleneck.

The blog was down for a while there, and so I was fiddling. I don't know what happened - my best guess is that it's back up because Blogger replaced the hamster on a wheel that powers this thing. So yeah, I changed the template, and I think this one's going to stick. Not sure though. If you change the template it wipes out all your customizations, so that's why there's essentially nothing on the sidebar. If I decide I like this I'll put all the old stuff up.

Anyway, I alluded a while back I was going to talk about my classes now that school is underway. My friend Juli who goes to UBC does a semi-annual thing at the end of each term, but all my classes are full-year! Oh, woe is me. So here we go.

Oh yes, and for those who don't know, I'm a second-year undergrad at Carleton U in Ottawa, Canada, majoring in history with a minor in film studies.

England in the Middle Ages: A professor emeritus teaches this one. He's English and looks like he could have witnessed everything first-hand. But he's hilarious - just sits at the front of the room and tells us stories for three hours a week. Occasionally he'll get sidetracked and tell us things like how much better professional wrestling was in the '60s before everything was fake. No, I'm not kidding. He's awesome, and very approachable. I suspect, however, that he didn't get to be a professor emeritus by telling funny stories, because I have a paper due in a couple weeks that's supposed to be longer than one I had four months to write for a class last year. We'll see how much I like him after that, but so far, not too bad for an 8:30 AM class.

History of Russia: Another professor emeritus, not so much fun. This guy talks FAST, and asked us in the first lecture to not ask questions during the lectures. This goes against my preferred back-and-forth type of learning, but he's still an interesting teacher. It's just a tough act to follow my Middle Ages prof.

Historian's Craft: This is the course that's mandatory for all history majors in their second year, where we learn to use archives and read old handwriting and talk about interpretations of history and all that rot. This course is taught by two profs, who both showed up for the first class but apparently work one on, one off for the following classes. So I haven't had as much time to get to know these profs as I have with other classes, but in the first day I was reminded very strongly of two of my favourite English teachers from school (Mr. M. and Mrs. K., for those who went to high school with me). These are very good signs. Also, this is my only class with a female prof. Am I just in the wrong courses? I'm not saying I prefer female profs, but it seems odd that in the 14 profs and TAs I've had so far at university, only 4 have been women. I'm in arts - what up with that?

20th Century Literature: A first year English course. There's a digital cable channel that shows specific Carleton courses as a sort of correspondence school-type-thingy, and last year I kept catching bits of this. What really grabbed me was the lecture I saw on Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, which is if not my favourite play of all time (and I've seen a few plays) is way up there. Also the prof was really good. So I signed up this year, and I got a different prof who didn't have R & G as one of the readings. Booooo. But I just got home from this course, and the prof talked for more than 45 minutes about an Ezra Pound poem that is a whopping 2 lines long, and I was fascinated. So it's a winner.
PS. I have to put this note in. We read 6 poems for today's class - Yeats, Pound, and Eliot. One of the Yeats poems was "Leda and the Swan", which, as I was reading it, I was hoping against hope it wasn't what I thought it was about. Well, the prof elaborated on it. I feel sick. Blech.
If you don't know your Greek mythology, do yourself a favour and read a Wikipedia article or something, because the poem is - yeah. Imagery is a tool that must be used for good and not evil, Yeats!

Canadian Cinema: Fantastic, amazing, super-fun course. I know, I know - those of you who didn't think I was insane up til now are know assured of the fact. The prof is very good; he strangely reminds me of Kenneth Branagh but without all the bits that make me hate Branagh. Fascinating stuff, freely allowing us to make fun of the cliches of Canadian movies, and good people in the class. Film classes are ALWAYS the best, I have discovered, for making new friends. Perhaps all the funnest weirdoes major in film.

Oh yeah, that reminds me: Go see Bon Cop, Bad Cop. One of the best movies I've ever seen. Hilarious! And a really good cop movie too. Just a ginormously fantastic movie all round that happens to be Canadian. I'm not really into hockey, so apparently I missed a bunch of the NHL-related humour, and I was still laughing the whole way through. Go see it!


At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Mom said...

I wanna go to your Medieval English History class! I love being told stories!!

plus - tried to find "Bon Cop Bad Cop" last weekend & it wasn't playing ANYWHERE in Vancouver. Boo! Hiss! (altho might have something to do with VIFF in town this week, maybe it'll be back on when the circus leaves town). Will keep trying to see it.

Love ya,


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